Kandamby and Herath script memorable win
Sri Lanka A 297 for 6 (Kandamby 128*, Herath 88*, Parnell 4-54) beat South Africa A 294 for 7 (Petersen 114, van Jaarsveld 106) by four wickets
The series already wrapped up 3-1, Sri Lanka A finished their tour of South Africa with a backs-to-the-wall win over the hosts in game five in Benoni. Set a stiff target of 295 - thanks to centuries from Alviro Petersen and Vaughn van Jaarsveld - Sri Lanka were boosted by a stellar unbeaten 128 from their captain Thilina Kandamby and 88 not out from Rangana Herath. The two bailed out Sri Lanka from a precarious 94 for 6, adding an unbroken 203 in 28.3 overs to seal a four-wicket win in the penultimate over.
Sri Lanka's chase appeared all but over after the South African pacers began well. Ethy Mbhalati removed Upul Tharanga for 1 and Wayne Parnell, South Africa's captain at this year's Under-19 World Cup, took four wickets to hasten thoughts of a consolation win. But Kandamby, recently named in Sri Lanka's squad for a Twenty20 tournament in Canada in October, refused to give in. Joined by Herath, another international, in the 20th over, Kandamby turned a situation of hopelessness into a grand victory.
Scoring at an amazing clip (7.12 an over), Kandamby and Herath - whose previous best was 41 - denied South Africa any more success. Sri Lanka's 100 came up off 135 balls, Kandamby's fifty consumed just 52 balls, and Herath needed just 48 balls to raise his maiden limited-overs fifty. Kandamby's 128, from 125 balls and with 13 fours and a six, was his personal limited-overs best. He finished the five-match series 364 runs at 91.00, the best return of the contest. South Africa sorely missed the services of medium-pacer Rusty Theron, who bowled just four deliveries, and their two spinners, Thandi Tshabalala and Gulam Bodi, conceded 77 in ten over between them
South Africa had reason to feel chuffed after their innings completed. From 48 for 2 in the tenth over, they were boosted by a 208-run partnership between Petersen, the captain, and van Jaarsveld. Petersen scored 114, his fifth limited-overs century, while for van Jaarsveld it was a maiden effort. However, their total of 294 proved insufficient thanks to a spirited double-century stand.